Why are you using Twitter? Is it to benefit you or your followers? Hopefully, it is the latter. If you attempt to provide value, educate and engage, then your followers will return the love as you start to build trust with them.

Twitter is an excellent platform to perform the Four Cs: create, consume, curate and communicate. A lot of great advice exists about how to maximize Twitter. Consider this list of best practices from Mashable.

You are what you tweet, so understand your audience and what they want. There’s no magic eight ball here, it takes time to strategize your content and understand your audience.

On a basic level, I recommend the following:

  • The 4-1-1 rule – Many people and brands use the 4-1-1 rule to keep content engaging. That is, for every self-serving tweet or post, you should retweet one relevant tweet and, most importantly, share four pieces of relevant content written by others. Coincidently, 4-1-1 is also the U.S. number to dial for information, and 3-1-1 is what U.S. airports use to keep carry-on liquids compact.
  • Schedule and manage your content using a tool such as HootSuite, Buffer or TweetDeck.
  • Learn the lingo – Your posts are called tweets; when you repost something from another person, it’s a retweet. There’s also the modified tweet, when you share someone else’s tweet but make edits to include your own thoughts. Trending topics are discussed by many people at one time; a direct message is a private message that you send to a follower; and the list goes on. Explore A Guide to Understanding Twitter Lingo to learn more.
  • Tweet regularly – Frequency, consistency and timing are everything on Twitter.
  • Survey followers and look at the analytics of your posts.
  • Use hashtags to your advantage. Tag items you want to be found, known or trend.
  • Respond to comments.

When all’s said and done, Twitter is a content distribution platform that, when used effectively, can increase your target reach and promote brand awareness. Beyond the nuts and bolts of management, distributing content thoughtfully is the most important ingredient to growing followers organically. If you are able to solve problems, address issues or inspire others, then you are adding value.

For more insight, follow Cooksey Communications @cookseypr and me @pruettcandoit.

Randy E. Pruett
Vice President & Account Manager